Okay, so we love lentils, but not plain lentils. Those just tastes like mushy pellets of doom.  However, if they are seasoned with Indian spices, they are the most delicious morsels in the known universe.  Okay, maybe that last statement was a touch hyperbolic, but you get the idea.  Here is my favorite recipe for lentils that I serve alongside anything from grilled lamb to curried chicken.  If you’re a vegetarian, simply substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth.  If you’re a vegan, use coconut milk instead of yogurt.

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Indian Spiced Lentils

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

1 1/2 cups lentils cooked
8 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, cut into bite sized chunks
1/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 chili pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt (add more if needed)
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons mild chili powder
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cook 1 cup of lentils in 3 1/2 cups of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Combine salt coriander powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and curry powder in a small bowl. This is the spice mixture for the lentils.

In large non-stick skillet, heat oil.  Add onions and cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.  Add chili peppers, garlic, and ginger.  Cook for additional minute. Reduce heat to medium and add spice mix and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until spices become fragrant.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and tomato paste.  Cook for additional minute.  It should look like a rue at this point.  Add chicken broth, stir and let mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Place 1/3 cup of plain yogurt into medium bowl.  Add 1/3 cup of broth mixture to bowl and gently mix through.  This will heat the yogurt and keep it from curdling once added to the pot.  Return to skillet along with lentils and diced tomatoes.  Let mixture simmer for another 5-7 minutes over low heat.  Tomatoes should be soft, but not mushy.  Remove from heat and serve with chopped cilantro over top and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

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All photos on this site were taken by Sabrina S. Baksh and is property of Food as a Metaphor/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

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